What We Do

Talwrn’ is an alliance of diverse voluntary sector organisations with their own individual purposes but which support people and communities in Wales. They have come together to develop knowledge and create ways of collaborating and co-producing work. The alliance works to challenge each other, provide support and advice, develop new projects, enable learning and inform the voluntary sector as a whole. Talwrn members believe that by optimising and building on its collective assets, the voluntary sector has the potential to become a strong, independent voice in Wales and a more effective catalyst for social change. Talwrn’s focus is on building sustainable work; finding ways for communities and individuals to generate their own resources and income through an asset based approach, and informing anti-poverty policy. Talwrn aims to build individual and community capacity by concentrating on three key themes:

  • empowerment: working with individuals, families and communities
  • enterprise: building self-sustaining social enterprises and promoting personal and community enterprise
  • voluntary sector effectiveness: building the capacity of voluntary organisations to meet needs.

Talwrn seeks to draw, and build, on evidence of what has worked effectively inside and outside Wales to embed efficient models for building capacity within communities and the voluntary sector. The focus is on how the voluntary sector can support people to understand the issues they face and ultimately take action to make changes to their lives and community as a whole.

Core principles

  • a stronger voluntary sector in Wales – building the social capital of the sector – that is more robust and effective in meeting needs
  • setting up local Talwrns – developing models and spheres of influence
  • the Welsh language as a strength, underpinning all work
  • strengths based practice
  • defining our own needs and tackling them ourselves
  • measuring impact
  • more money coming into Wales, to support a more independent and effective voluntary sector

Themed workshops to be run

  • Evaluation  – self evaluation, outcomes mapping,  presenting work
  • Social/community enterprises  – critical success factors. What works and what doesn’t
  • Leadership and sustainability – what do we mean by this? What are the characteristics of organisations that are sustainable?
  • Communication – getting the message across, developing the reputation of sector
  • Assets based work – co-production, local government reorganisation, how people can control what happens in their community
  • Social Care and Wellbeing Act and implications in the voluntary sector

Themed workshop meetings (Fridays 11.30am -4pm) mid Wales

Meetings are open to anyone to attend – contact talwrn@peopleandworkunit.org.uk

March 4th 2016 – evaluation (led by Mark Richardson)
May 6th – leadership, sustainability and skills (led by Sarah Stone)
July 1st – social care and implications (led by Jenny O’Hara-Jakeway)
September 2nd – asset transfer (led by Chris Johnes)
November 4th – communication (led by Elwyn James)
January 6th 2017 – enterprise (led by Alison Hill)

Each theme will result in a short discussion paper which will be available from this website.

Local Talwrn

Each Talwrn member will work with a local Talwrn of around 10 organisations. This may be an existing network to which some of the thinking around Talwrn is explored and developed; it may be a local piece of work done with partners to take forward some new thinking; or it may be a piece of action research with partners.

To learn more about a local Talwrn contact talwrn@peopleandworkunit.org.uk

Peer Review

Talwrn members support each other, members of the wider ‘local Talwrns’ and other voluntary organisations in peer reviewing funding proposals. Feedback is honest and intended to help those seeking funding to improve their bids and project ideas.

Talwrn is also able to offer some support in helping voluntary organisations and charities research the context and need for a project or piece of work.

If you would like to discuss getting support from Talwrn to develop a project or funding proposal contact talwrn@peopleandworkunit.org.uk


Talwrn update report